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Happy.....

 What day is it, again? I know we are celebrating something....ah, yes. The original idea of Thanksgiving as presented to the public was a day set aside to honor the legend of the time when the first settlers to America were nearly starving and the indigenous tribes came to them with food so that they were saved. And they ate and drank and laughed-and had turkey, of course. And green bean casserole. And some cream cheesy version a pumpkin pie, surely. 

My blog post today could have gone in several directions, much like my creative flow seems to. I won’t go down that shadowy path of truth regarding our ancestors’ invasion of the land we now call home, nor of the systematic approach of its ensuing government to eradicate the people who lived on it, either by starvation, disease or incarceration. Oh, I already knew much of the truth regarding the enhanced to fabricated history being taught to me since I learned to read. I had a really cool Humanities History teacher who taught us the truth vs fiction about American History. I won’t mention his name here, lest his life or his family come under criticism and threat of death. 




No, I don’t want to talk about that sad truth. Nor do I want to talk about the awful influence of commercialism in our day to day lives, the weight of responsibility we feel to participate in mass celebrations that grow more and more expensive with each new year.  Christmas is in truth some whacked out combination of the celebration of the birth of God’s son melded in with the old European holiday season of frivolity and gift giving to stave off the bleak Winter blues. Again, I won’t provide details but any ‘good’ search will give you the answers. 

I am not against gift giving for we are meant to give to others. That is the only true gift we have for ourselves. Going in debt, worrying about what to give, how much to give, what we might get...all these things drain the soul’s true purpose. And then we have more stuff. Stuff to clean, stuff to store, give away or someday throw away. 😱😱😱



Let’s think about belonging, about group, or even mob, mentality for a moment. Human nature seems to direct us to want to belong, to be a part of something greater than ourselves alone. Gathering to celebrate and share joy are amazing things, but gathering because we have a fear of missing out or being alone is a symptom of a much deeper disease. I have become more acutely aware of this obsession in humankind since the Covid 19 pandemic arrived. To give up spending time with my loved ones because we are far apart and travel is ill advised is painful to be sure. But the depths to which the fortitude of so many humans has plummeted is staggering. That they would be seriously depressed over missing a tailgate party or a Friday night drunk fest leaves me shaking my head. These are not life shattering experiences. Neither are commercialized holidays in the face of the staggering number of deaths we have suffered in America and across the globe. 



The most discouraging thing for me, personally, is to not only hear the whining coming from young people who, in spite of their obvious sense of understanding it all, are still growing and learning; but to hear the cries of deprivation and unfair mandates coming from the mouths of supposed adults is more than I can stand. No wonder their children are whining...





So what is the answer? The very act of complaining about something beyond our control strips us of the joy we could be creating through acceptance and embracing change. I am often told that I need to accept technology and the inevitable changes to a way of life that has been comfortable, dependable and steadfast for my parents and my grandparents and that I know very well.  I like paper receipts and humans at the bank. I like real operators on the phone that can hear the desperation in my voice when I have a problem. I want to go to a job interview with my resume in hand and sit, facing the interviewer, instead of taking computer assessed skills and mental tests. But, alas, the world has moved on...or soI have been informed. 

But ask these same people to make a few adjustments to their way of life, following some rules that are proven to decrease their own and others’ chances of becoming infected, and just watch as the guns, the signs and the berating show up like ants at a picnic-angry, venomous and with purpose. 



What if, instead of waiting for the designated day of Thanksgiving, we met every day with that same sense of gratitude? What if, instead of praying for all the things we don’t feel we have, we wake up and express thanks for the gifts and blessings we will receive with every new sunrise? What if we approach life not in chunks of success or failure, disappointment or reward, but vow to live our lives moment by moment? 

You see, the images I have been scattering throughout my mind droppings here may seem random but they aren’t at all. They are special moments of celebration that I keep in my heart, the smiles and remembrances that make up my life. They make up my days of Thanksgiving. You know, people always ask me why I cook and bake only to give things away. Someone once even asked me, “What’s in it for you?” After I stopped being confused by the rude comment, I simply stated the truth. 

I like to make people happy. Food makes people smile, brings us together and sustains us in many ways.

So, why not just make a family gathering when life allows it rather than wait for the designated days, pressuring ourselves to put up, shut up, measure up and suck up any inconvenience such manic holidays bring, not the least being a heavy financial burden on so many people. 



There are so many moments of thankful appreciation in my days...




So many people I am thankful for. 


Why don’t we practice Thanksgiving and Christmas every day, try giving whenever we can and not pressuring ourselves to give on the holidays designated to make the rich richer? I somehow believe Jesus would so ‘get it’, and many turkeys would sleep better at night. 

Look, I have made many Thanksgiving dinners, I have dozens of handprint birds and paper hearts that thrilled me throughout the years. But I also have dried flowers pressed into a Bible, twenty pictures of the same big headed stick figure my kids drew in one morning and macaroni necklaces made in art class. All treasures. Everyday celebration gifts of love.

Stop whining, start helping, stop wanting, start sharing, stop needing and start caring. Yeah, I roasted a chicken today. It was an unexpected event for me since I was officially protesting Turkey Day. I even made dressing! But only because I wanted to. Being in Central America beings new perspective to many things, not the least being that when you ask for a whole chicken, that is JUST what  you’re getting...



Ah! No complaining, at least I didn’t post a photo of the head that flopped out when I picked this one up. 🀦‍♀️

Okay, I have to admit I had a twisted urge to paint those nails..
And it was the best chicken EVER. 

I hope you all had a peaceful, beautiful day. 












  

Comments

  1. We used to have a Kosher meat market in my neighborhood where you could get a whole chicken like that. Happy Thanksgiving!

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    1. Thanks John. Same to you. I don’t even want to know what one does with the feet. πŸ™ˆ

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  2. Good thoughts Cheryl. Thanks. Happy holidays each day all year long.

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  3. I LOVE the sentiment that radiates from this page. Thank you for the smiles.

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  4. Thanks Maggie. I’m happy to give you smiles. πŸ™‚

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  5. Wonderful thoughts, Cheryl. Thanks for keeping us grounded. We have so much to be thankful for everyday. I love the screen shots of your family.

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    1. I have had to make so many ‘adjustments’ in my life, Dan. If I had been too rigid my life would have been far more miserable. The greatest lesson my Dan ever taught me was to ‘suck it up’ and do what I had to and make a stand only when I was going to follow it through. I sure miss him. πŸ’”

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    2. Oops, my Dad, not Dan. 🀦‍♀️πŸ™ˆThans for the kind comments about my loved ones.

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  6. I also had chicken for Thanksgiving, minus the head and feet. Funny, though, my roomie makes chicken bone broth with "kits" that include the feet. She says they make a big difference.

    I loved the holiday spent with my roommate. Yes, we would have liked to see our families, but there was no whining. Instead, we are both grateful for a day of game playing, laughs and food. We are grateful for being healthy and finding value in each and every day.

    Have a wonderful day, Cheryl, along with the weeks and months to come. πŸ™‚❤πŸ™‚

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    1. Thanks so much Mary. I sure look forward to those cute animals on IG. πŸ˜‰ It really is about the communion and fellowship, after all. πŸ’•πŸ€—

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  7. Now would have enjoyed seeing those nails painted! And you are right, we need to give thanks EVERY day.

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    1. Truthfully I did not have any nail polish so...maybe we were all spared. From what Mary says I should have put it into my broth.

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  8. One of my Facebook friends painted the nails on chicken feet and used it as her profile picture briefly. :D I love your pictures, especially the one of the clouds over a gap between two hills that makes a heart shape. Thank you for a highly nourishing post. Have many days of thanks-giving, dear lady.

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    1. Ha! That was classic. Thanks for mentioning the heart shape. I hadn’t really noticed. I love finding images in clouds. Wishing you as many days Marian, thank you.

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